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Airport chaos after U-turn on easing of liquids ban

PLANS to ease the rules on carrying liquids on to flights were thrown in to chaos last night as transport chiefs were locked in an emergency session.

New security measures at Irish and other European airports were due to come in to force this morning but have now been postponed indefinitely following a revolt led by the UK and France.

They were concerned that arrangements to electronically scan liquids were not sufficient, leaving flights vulnerable to attacks from terrorists.

The eleventh-hour U-turn by the European Commission runs the risk of causing chaos for airport managers this morning as many had not been informed of the move late last night.

Staff at Dublin Airport left work yesterday expecting the rules to be implemented today.

Instead they will turn up for work this morning to be told that this will now not happen.

Spokesperson for the Dublin airport Authority Siobhan Moore said last night that the airport was only told of the change hours before it was due to be implemented.

"We didn't receive any formal written communication but we did receive verbal communication last night," Mrs Moore said.

She added that the development would not affect operations at the airport today.

The measures were to be a step on the way towards the total lifting of the liquid ban, due to be ended by 2013.

It is now expected that the measure will be put on ice for a number of weeks as EU countries attempt to hammer out a compromise.

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